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Congress Reaches Out to Mamata to Stitch Together Consensus for RS Deputy Chairman Post

The non-Congress opposition leaders are learnt to be in favour of using the election to expand the footprint of the non-NDA alliance by bringing in Naveen Patnaik’s Biju Janata Dal (BJD) on board.

Pallavi Ghosh | CNN-News18_pallavighosh

Updated:June 18, 2018, 12:14 PM IST
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New Delhi: Opposition unity could be put to test soon in the election for the deputy chairman of the Rajya Sabha.

Former Congress President Sonia Gandhi’s political secretary Ahmed Patel has reached out to West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, seeking support for the party nominee for the post.

Sources have told News18 that Patel met the Trinamool leader for an hour in Delhi on Sunday evening in what is being seen as an attempt to garner support for the party candidate.

The post is currently held by Congress MP from Kerala PJ Kurien. Kurien was denied another term to the Upper House by the Congress and it is likely that the party is now pushing for some other candidate of its choice for the post.

The chairman of the Rajya Sabha is the Vice-President of India. Members of the Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha together elect the chairman of the Upper House. The deputy chairman, however, is elected by the members of the Rajya Sabha alone.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which has emerged as the single largest party in the Upper House, is keen to have its own nominee for the deputy chairman’s post.

The non-Congress opposition leaders, who interacted during the course of their visit to Delhi for the NITI Aayog meeting, are learnt to be in favour of using the election to expand the footprint of the non-NDA alliance by bringing in Naveen Patnaik’s Biju Janata Dal (BJD) on board.



The BJD with nine members and the TRS (Telangana Rashtra Samithi) with six members are crucial as they have said before that they will not support the Congress candidate.

It is learnt that this group of regional satraps is in favour of offering the RS deputy Chairmanship to the BJD.

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